In his experiments, Dr. Hahnemann developed a method of “potentizing” homeopathic remedies by diluting them in a water–alcohol solution and then vigorously shaking (or succussing) the mixtures.
In Homeopathy the potency prescribed is inversely proportional to the pathological developmental of the disease. That is if the pathology is involved wherein anatomical manifestations have taken place usually lower potencies are used because organs are affected. The superficial ailments such as mental disorders, aches and pains with no obvious pathology involved usually require higher potencies. It is with the sole discretion of the physician after the case–taking the potency to be given for any ailment is decided.
Critics of Homeopathy argue that, in the more extreme dilution ratios (which are considered higher potencies), the remedies may not contain even a single molecule of the original healing substance. Nonetheless, studies have shown that homeopathic remedies may be effective for certain disorders, such as childhood diarrhea, hay fever, asthma and the flu. Further research is now being conducted under the auspices of the National Institute of Health. Most homeopathic remedies have undergone “provings,” or medical observations in which healthy individuals are given doses of undiluted homeopathic substances. Mental, emotional and physical changes brought on during these tests help provide homeopathic physicians with a better understanding of which remedy will best suit a particular set of symptoms. Over the past 200 years, provings of almost 2,000 substances have been conducted.